Matthew Bowens )
Detroit — Among the inscriptions chiseled onto the National Law Enforcement Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., are the words of Roman historian Tacitus: “In Valor there is Hope.”
Also inscribed on the wall are the names of Detroit Police Officers Jennifer Fettig and Matthew Bowens, partners who died during the cold, dark morning hours of Feb. 16, 2004.
On the 10-year anniversary of their murders, the two officers will be remembered in a candlelight vigil to be held at 2 a.m. Sunday at the intersection where they were ambushed during a traffic stop.
Members of the Detroit Police Department, along with members of the Fettig and Bowens families, will meet at 1 a.m. at the Fourth Precinct, 4700 W. Fort, and from there will travel to Michigan Avenue and Gilbert where the shootings occurred at 2 a.m.
At that time, there will be a moment of silence followed by a short prayer service.
The deaths of the two officers rocked the city and led to one of the largest police funerals in its history.
The tragic event began when Fettig and Bowens made a traffic stop at Michigan Avenue and Gilbert. As the two officers called in the license plate information of the pickup they had pulled over, the driver exited his vehicle and opened fire with a .40 caliber handgun.
Fettig was hit five times while Bowens was hit three times.
As Bowens called for assistance, the shooter — later identified as Eric Marshall — reappeared and shot Bowens six more times. Marshall, who fired 19 shots during the confrontation, also stole Bowen’s service weapon.
Bowens, 21, died at the scene. Fettig, 26, died later at Henry Ford Hospital.
Marshall, 23, fled but portions of the shooting was recorded on the patrol car’s video system. Marshall was arrested several hours later. He was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, where he died on Oct. 15, 2010, of multiple organ failure.